Qataban and Sheba: Exploring the Ancient Kingdoms on the Biblical Spice Routes of Arabia

By Wendell Phillips | Go to book overview

23
ACROSS UNEXPLORED LAND

*

Our return trip to Beihan was made, it seemed to me, on a beautiful cloud, and I set to work at once preparing for the first exploratory party to investigate Marib. This ancient city was only forty miles from our headquarters at Timna, as the crow flies. We knew that it was considerably farther by any ground route, but we had to go by truck. According to our agreement, I cabled the King the expected day of our arrival in Marib.

Charlie McCollum and I spent several hours over maps, selecting the best route. One possibility was around and over Jaw al Kudeif, but although this was the safest way, it was by far the longest. The only other alternative was to skirt along the mountains past Nejd Mergat and then cut straight across the open dunes. This was the shortest route, but the loose sand of the dunes might be impassable except by camel. Charlie finally settled the question by exclaiming, "When K. T. Keller gave us these Dodge Power Wagons, he meant us to use them. Let's do it."

So across the dunes it was, though every map marked this entire area "Unexplored."

We finally found that we could be ready one day ahead of schedule and decided to move ahead. Eileen dispatched a runner, the day before we left, to Saiyid Al Kohlani, Governor of Harib and Marib, with greetings and the good word that we were leaving for Marib one day before our scheduled departure, as cabled to the King. By the time the runner returned with a reply, we were

-210-

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Qataban and Sheba: Exploring the Ancient Kingdoms on the Biblical Spice Routes of Arabia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Author's Preface vii
  • Field Staff - American Foundation Arabian Expeditions xi
  • Contents xiii
  • 1 - Turn Backward, Turn Backward 3
  • 2 - Search for a Site 8
  • 3 - The Essence of Mukalla 16
  • 4 - Through the Hadhramaut 23
  • 5 - The Dig 40
  • 6 - Mountains and Clouds Of Sand 53
  • 7 - "Weakness of the Bones" 65
  • 8 - Bal Harith Tribesmen 76
  • 9 - The Lions of Timna 89
  • 10 - The Queen of Sheba 103
  • 11 - Miriam and the Gold Necklace 109
  • 12 - Professor Albright 120
  • 13 - Salaams to the President 125
  • 14 - Mount Sinai 133
  • 15 - Eileen 146
  • 16 - The Scaifes 154
  • 17 - Cities of the Dead 163
  • 18- Lady Bar'At 171
  • 19- Back to 1000 B.C. 180
  • 20 - Temple of Venus 186
  • 21 - Into Forbidden Yemen 194
  • 22 - Audience with the Imam 203
  • 23 - Across Unexplored Land 210
  • 24 - The Queen's City 218
  • 25 - Farewell to Beihan 231
  • 26 - Qataban Revealed 243
  • 27 - Troubles in Marib 248
  • 28 - Confusion Compounded 262
  • 29- Danger at Sheba 273
  • 30 - Escape! 301
  • 31 - Charges And Countercharges 321
  • 32 - Unknown Oman 329
  • Afterword Birth Pains of An Expedition 341
  • Substantial Contributors - American Foundation for the Study of Man 351
  • Index 355
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